Acadia Senior College

Course offerings

The Crowd in American Culture

Gregory Bush

Online via Zoom
This course will cross boundaries between politics, culture and business-labor relations by examining the changing images of mobs, riots, and notions of the public and crowd psychology. From the American Revolution through the Civil War Draft Riots and labor disorders in the late nineteenth century, mobs played an important role in establishing respectability and expressing political and economic frustrations. Crowds were also critical elements in the changing nature of entertainment and notions of acceptable or fun behavior. In contemporary times, with the rising impact of marketing and public relations, social media and Donald Trump, the uses of heroism and crowd psychology has had huge cultural implications about which we are still learning. Each class will require some reading while several will also involve viewing online films.
About the instructor

Gregory Bush retired in 2018 as Associate Professor of History and Director of the Institute for Public History at the University of Miami. He received degrees from Colgate, George Washington and Columbia. He was a founder and President of the Urban Environment League, the chair of the City of Miami’s Parks Advisory Board, as well as chair of the Virginia Key Advisory Board. He is the founder of the Florida Moving Image Archive and author of several books, including White Sand Black Beach: Civil Rights, Public Space and Miami’s Virginia Key (2016, U Press of Fla), Lord of Attention: Gerald Stanley Lee and the Crowd Metaphor in Industrializing America (1991, U, Mass Press) as well as Miami: A Tropical Crossroad (1996, Prentice Hall, with Arva Moore Parks McCabe). He is now President of Nature Links Maine (, an organization he founded in Miami in 2007.

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